Is there something between criminalization and legalization? The marijuana debate continues

Local News

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It was too controversial to make it into the Governor’s budget, so New York lawmakers who want to legalize marijuana as a separate law are running out of time to do it before their summer break.

It’s a divided issue, but there’s a new opinion emerging.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana New York’s Will Jones asks people to think about every time they pass a McDonalds or Starbucks to imagine it was a pot shop. Colorado has that many and more, he says. He fears New York could end up the same way.

“Commercialization is another extreme and we can’t let policy, like a pendulum, swing from one extreme to another,” Jones said.

Jones isn’t against people using it to the level they are now. He says marijuana can be decriminalized without being legalized.

Not legalizing takes away the state’s ability to regulate licensed sellers to ensure a safe product on the street. 

“We hope people see us a third option, we talk about it as a third approach to marijuana policy, between those two extremes of criminalization and legalization,” said Jones.

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